Life never stops at the fashionable and alternative Sternschanze district. In the mornings, Portuguese cafés invite to a breakfast galão and pastal de nata. At noon, restaurants roll out their lunch menus, and bakeries lure customers with delicious afternoon treats. Come nightfall, countless bars spring to life—competing with the Reeperbahn area for Hamburg’s best nightlife.
Under the motto ‘the prime number of variety’, the Kulturhaus 73 offers a little bit of everything. Its special mix of a cultural centre, café, bar, club and cinema has made it into one of the most popular daytime and nightlife venues in the city. From a bar serving select craft beers to live viewings of football games, from music concerts in the grand hall to club DJs in the basement, the Haus 73 caters to many tastes. After a lively week filled with exciting events, Sunday nights are set aside for a sacred German ritual: watching the latest episode of the cult crime series Tatort.
Kulturhaus 73, Schulterblatt 73, Hamburg, Germany, +49 40 2388 0790
Those looking for an offbeat yet refined venue will savour the atmosphere of the Absinth Bar. Offering over 400 varieties of the bohemian green spirit and providing excellent advice on selection, the bar is the ideal place to enjoy a drink long-banned across the world and favoured by great men like Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso and Oscar Wilde. Novices and absinthe-lovers alike will be charmed by the mysterious ambience of the Absinth Bar.
Absinth, Schanzenstrasse 99, Hamburg, Germany, +49 176 23621956
Behind the bright red façade of the Le Fonque hides a small dark bar distinguished by excellent music. For over 20 years Le Fonque boasts ‘only vinyl’ – live DJs every night of the week. The diverse music sets range cover funk, soul, boogie, disco and jazz, sometimes mixed with more electric sounds. The cosy, deep-red bar is favoured by the local crowd who appreciate established values, groovy ambience, funky music and democratically priced drinks.
Right in the middle of the Schanze’s busiest crossroads is another small bar with a unique ambience: the Walfisch Bar. Within blue walls adorned by rescue rings and portholes, awesome barkeeps serve extravagant cocktails. The newcomer has quickly gained popularity in the district. In contrast to the older cult bars that charm with grittiness and character, the Walfisch Bar is sleek and modern yet cozy – and here to stay.
The Dschungel bar (literally ‘the jungle’) is famous for its laid-back and authentic feel, mixed crowd and democratic prices. After moving from its cult location on the Schanzenstrasse a few years back, the Dschungel has found a new home right between the hip Schanze and Karoviertel districts. While the venue is new, the bar’s signature drink – the White Russian – tastes as good as ever, and its alternative and smokey flair continues to attract the regular crowd.
The Zoë II is a popular sofa bar distinguished by plush worn-out sofas and a shabby-chic interior. During the day, this is an excellent place for enjoying a cup of coffee with friends. As night falls, it transforms into a busy cocktail bar, seats fill up fast and the music becomes louder and trendier. But, no matter the time of day, a visit to the Zoë, as well as to the Zoë III next door, guarantees a good time in a relaxed atmosphere.
In the middle of the Schanze, the retro-style bar GoldFischGlas attracts a diverse party crowd. On weekends, the long bar counter on the the ground floor quickly fills with guests sipping happy hour cocktails, whereas the mini-disco in the basement is the place to warm up for a Hamburg party night. On Monday nights the GoldFischGlas hosts highly popular acoustic sessions with two participating bands. And goldfish, you may ask? They populate the club’s virtual aquarium.
The Bar Rossi – one of the most stylish bars on the edge of the Schanze – is known for exceptional cocktails and elektro sounds. The bar’s plush sofas invite lounging while sipping a drink and listening to music spun by the resident DJs. Those wishing to stretch their legs can move upstairs to the club 13.Stock and dance to hip-hop, soul and electro and enjoy panoramic views over the party district from the roof terrace.
Bar Rossi, Max-Brauer-Allee 279, Hamburg, Germany, +49 40 4334 21
Across the street from Bar Rossi lies a beach bar, the Central Park. Tucked between a busy street and a railway line, this is an oasis for enjoying the ultimate urban summer flair. What could be better than relaxing on a beach lounge chair with a cocktail in hand and sand between the toes? You might even forget that you’re in the middle of a bustling city with no water in sight.
Central Park, Max-Brauer-Allee 277, Hamburg, Germany, +49 40 4336 84